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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How many English dialects exist?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (12807points) May 22nd, 2018

Some English speakers I don’t understand. So I was wondering how many dialects exist?

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17 Answers

flutherother's avatar

There are hundreds, if not thousands of English dialects in the UK and throughout the world.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You should check the Accent Challenge on youtube!

I sound a little like this guy, but not quite as mush mouth.
https://youtu.be/rp6_J4eaPYE

LadyMarissa's avatar

@KNOWITALL I was born & raised in the South & I didn’t think he had an accent until he started reading off some of the words. Then I noticed his accent coming & going. I found it interesting that he didn’t notice his accent until he heard others talk. I tend to notice others accents are different from mine!!! I have a good friend from Boston & he has a difficult time getting his cell to understand him when speaking commands. I tease him by telling him that he needs to stop buying a southern cell when he’s going to speak a different language. I suggested that he request that his new cell be shipped down from Boston so it comes pretrained.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

For the US portion of the English speaking world, this web site divides us as:

Inland North
Midland
Northeast
Philadelphia
South
West
Boston
North Central

The quizz says I have an Inland North American accent.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I wonder where Florida falls in that list. Florida is such a melting pot of people that it seems that they have their own dialect

flo's avatar

I call it dialect if I don’t understand it. I understand what a Bostonian, says a Texan (for example) says no matter how thick the accent is.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Last year I started binge watching Doctor Who starting with the 2005 Christopher Eccleston episodes.

I had to turn on the subtitles for most of the first season. Then I grew accustomed to the accents.

One oddity was that Karen Gillan sounded very American to me when she showed up in season 5. She’s Scottish.

LadyMarissa's avatar

My Mother-In-Law was from England & my husband had to translate everything she ever said to me. My Southern brain just couldn’t grasp her accent.

Years before I met my husband I dated a guy from England. He did his damndest to teach me proper English & my parents almost disowned me when they heard me speak. Proper English with a Southern twang didn’t sound very pretty. It is otherwise a beautiful language!!!

Yellowdog's avatar

South is only ONE dialect on that list?

People in the Deep South speak very different from the Appalachian dialect.

..In Radio Broadcasting, my dialect has been classified as Upper Midwestern and Mid Atlantic. I can understand just about everybody but some strong Cockney and some Irish. I can fake BBC . King’s English and/or Edinburgh but they are not natural to me, which I would like.

Cockney is the most difficult for me to speak, and I personally find it similar to Australian but more Londonesque sounding

LadyMarissa's avatar

I find a New Zealand accent most fascinating; but in general conversation, I can’t understand most of what they are saying without asking them to repeat. I do good to speak Southern, so I’ve never tried to take on any other accent except while dating the Brit who wanted to teach me how to speak proper English & that turned out to be a disaster!!!

The average Southerner doesn’t even consider the Appalachian dialect to be even close. I can understand them if need be but I have to listen very close to understand right off. They probably have the same problem!!!

kritiper's avatar

The folks in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Southern Idaho speak slightly different dialects. There are MANY in the US.!

lilybells's avatar

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact number of dialects present in the English language. Aside from English speaking countries you also have to take in consideration countries where English is spoken as a second language and even then, there are sub dialects of English in those countries.

janbb's avatar

There’s a difference between dialect and regional accent and I think most of what people are talking about here are regional accents.

Yellowdog's avatar

You are right Janbb—most English dialects are still mutually intelligible.

Some varieties of English that may be difficult to understand among more average speakers of English include Cockney, Irish, possibly Australian, and possibly some Appalachian speech, because it is so isolated even still. These differences are more pronounced in speech than in writing.

Some African American speech might be classified as a dialect, but what we once called Ebonics is in a classification of its own. Its more a way of talking than a dialect, per se;

kritiper's avatar

Let’s not forget “bop” speak! Ya dig? It’s crazy weird but the cats who speak it can really swing! Variations are also hip with gangsters, and if’n ya don’t believe me, I’ll outfit ya wit some cement overshoes after I drills ya with my Chicago typewriter!

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